Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information
Chugach National Forest
by: Michael DeYoung
by: Frank Flavin
It’s hard not to notice Alaska’s starring role on the small screen in recent years, including hit television shows like the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” and the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers,” to name a few. Likewise, Alaska has served as the stunning backdrop in various feature films, from the classic Jack London tale “White Fang,” starring Ethan Hawke, to Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild,” based on the book by Jon Krakauer. In 2012, Alaska will light up the silver screen once again with the premiere of “Big Miracle” starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, which is due in theaters February 3, 2012. For centuries, Alaska has captivated the imagination of many, and now more than ever visitors are inspired by the big screen images they see of Alaska. Read on to learn more about Alaska’s film culture and how to experience the Last Frontier “as seen on TV” and in movies.
Day 1 Anchorage - Grandview Fly in to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and take a scenic day trip aboard the Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery train, as portrayed in the mid-‘80s action movie “Runway Train.” From Anchorage, the train travels south toward Grandview, with stops at Girdwood, Portage Glacier and Spencer Glacier. Stop at the Spencer Glacier and choose from various canoeing, kayaking and hiking tours. Meals are available for purchase on the train. After taking in the sights at Grandview, return to Anchorage via rail or board a motorcoach at the Portage Glacier stop.
Day 2 Talkeetna Continue your Alaska Railroad adventure north aboard the Denali Star train. In just under three hours you’ll arrive in the charming town of Talkeetna, one of several small towns that inspired the hit television show “Northern Exposure.” Outdoor adventure abounds in Talkeetna, which serves as the departure point for mountain climbers set on tackling nearby Mount McKinley — North America’s highest peak. Activity options in Talkeetna include flightseeing, riverboat and jetboat tours, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and more. Spend the night at one of several quaint lodges in the area.
Day 3 Denali National Park and Preserve Back aboard the Denali Star, travel a little more than four hours north to Denali National Park and Preserve, one of several Alaska locations in the acclaimed production “Into the Wild,” starring Emile Hirsch...
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FILM, TELEVISION AND FESTIVALS IN ALASKA
The first film produced entirely in Alaska, “The Chechahcos,” came out in 1924. Following this silent film about Alaska’s Gold Rush, a string of movies ranging from independent productions to action-packed studio thrillers and feel-good Disney flicks have been set in Alaska.
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Some movies and television shows set in Alaska were never actually filmed in Alaska, but luckily, most of these popular productions were inspired by real-life destinations and events that hold an endless amount of adventure opportunities for visitors.
While Alaska has gained popularity in recent years as a destination for filmmaking, its involvement in the industry dates back to the early 20th century. Since then, various festivals have sprung up all over the state, providing visitors an opportunity to delve deeper into Alaska’s film culture.
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